Let Him Direct You

Hello, friends and family. I hope you all are having a wonderful day. I thought I’d just talk to you during my lunch break. It’s a short testimony. One of my favorite passages from the Bible is Proverbs 3:5,6, which reads,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways achknowledge Him, and He shalll direct your paths.”

At age 25, I can say that there is still so much that I don’t understand. For example, this year was the first year that I did taxes. Also, for the last four weeks I have been attending a financial class at my church in hopes of  better understanding how to handle my finances on my own. Before the class, I was concerned because throughout grade school and college no professor bothered to teach me how to handle money. Ironic isn’t it. Apparently there is an uncertain rule somewhere that says, “You’re on your own.”

Before the first class, I got down on my knees and talked to my good friend above the clouds. I was honest with God by telling Him that I didn’t have the financial world all figured out. Honestly, who does? I prayed that I would take something from the course; that I would absorb everything from it. Somewhere in that prayer I said, “Lord, please don’t let me fall on my face”.

My Heavenly Father must have been listening, because I have thoroughly enjoyed  Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course. I’m not quite ready to buy a house or anything, but I can say that I have more knowledge and wisdom now then I did before the class. God helped me, just as he gave King Solomon wisdom when he too asked for it.

I encourage all of you, friends and family, if you’re ever uncertain about how to do something, pray about it, because God is the bearer of all knowledge. Whatever dark paths you’re facing, let Him be your light and direct you.

Have a good day, and God Bless.😊😊😊

Letter To Mom

Dear Marcella Paulette Harris, aka Mom,

Where do I begin? I’m a decent writer, but there are not enough words to describe how I feel about you. I can try. I love your smile, and I get mine from yours. Your smile is worthy of hundreds of selfies like I have of myself. You’re the only woman I trust financially. I really appreciate you helping me to better understand how to handle my money. Thank you for letting me make my own decisions, yet giving me advice whenever I ask for it. Whether I want to admit it or not, you know me better than I do myself. Thanks for letting me do things for myself, such as cleaning; cooking washing clothes; and ironing. How many men in their 20s can say they’re able to do all that…decently. No matter how old I get I am always going to respect and honor you, not just because scripture says I should, but because I want to. I’m proud to be your son, and I’m proud to say you’re my mother. You’re amazing!

Love always,

Your son, David Anthony Harris

(Mom and Dad. The only current picture I have of Mom)

(Left to right: Mike(1st child); Chris(2nd Child); Mom; Christina(4th Child); David(3rd Child)

Prayer, Patience, Perseverance 

Good day, friends and family. I appreciate you reading my last blog post in honor of National Stuttering Awareness Week. It means a lot to me. I couldn’t close out the week without sharing one last thing with all of you in regards to it.

This week I was looking through blogs with the hagtag stutterering, underneath it I came across a beautiful piece by blogger Reading For Sanity Mom . This piece was about her and her four year old son, who is struggling with a speech impediment. According to my parents, age four is when I first started stuttering. As I read, I learned this mother was struggling just seeing her child disfluent. Reading that piece made me reflect on my own parents. I know my life has been a challenge living with a stutter, but surely it must have been challenging for my folks as well seeing me struggle with it. I can’t read their minds, but to this day I’m sure they think in their heads, I wish I could help him.

Feeling moved by the story, I left a comment saying just that, and that I wish I had the courage of this little boy when I was his age, to not be afraid to speak to anyone. Within a few minutes, the mother thanked me for my words, and asked me what it was like for me growing up with a stutter. 

I replied, “Growing up I wasn’t bullied in school. With the exception of a few remarks and giggles here and there by the occasional ignorant person, nobody bullied me. Not a hand was raised against me. Prayer, patience, and perseverance to this day play a factor in me working through my speech. As I said, I still stutter, and I don’t know how much longer I will stutter, but I refuse to let it define me and drag me down.”

I believe that was the first time I put those three P words together- Prayer, Patience, Perseverance. Reflecting on my journey as a speaker and human being, these combined words have help shaped me. I am happy to share these words with you so you too may grow into a better speaker.

Prayer If there is one being in existence who will listen to what you say no matter how long you take, it is the Most High. When I’m talking to God in private my stutter is almost non existent. Why is that? Perhaps maybe because God knows me so well. Even before I came into the world He knew what type of person I would be. For as long as I can remember, I have asked Him to touch my lips; tongue; diaphragm; and every other body part that enables speaking. Through Him, I speak better.

Patience As much as we would like it to, our stutter is not going to disappear overnight. Once, when I was younger, I prayed that it would, only to be disappointed the next morning. And it is true that there are famous people who have stuttered, but some of them took years to overcome it. We can’t compare ourselves to others. If we do this we end up only hurting ourselves. Every person is different. You are overcoming your speech on your own timeclock in your own way. Don’t rush yourself.

Diving further into patience, if you have to take your time as you speak to avoid stuttering, then go that route. Not all of us can spit out words like hip hop artists or auctioneers. If somebody wants to press you to speed it up or “just say it already”, then clearly they are an inpatient person and not worth speaking to.

Perseverance You must MUST keep pressing on! If you don’t have anybody to push you to do better, push yourself. You don’t have to do as I do, but my mentality is to apply myself three times as hard as anybody else. One of my methods to bettering my speech is talking to myself in the mirror. Why, because I’m dashing as all get up. 😄 Just kidding. Seeing my reflection gives me the chance to see myself speak. I learn to keep my tongue in my mouth, eyes open, head straight up, throat untensed, and to breathe when I need to. Whatever helps you become a better speaker, go for it. 

As I like to say, “I have a stutter. Accept me or don’t.” Thank for your support, and God Bless. 

National Stuttering Awareness Week 2017

Hello friends and family. This week is a special week for me and more than 70 million people(people who stutter) of the world. It’s National Stuttering Awareness Week. 

Started in 1988, and observed every 2nd week of May, National Stuttering Awareness Week is a way to enlighten people about stuttering, and give encouragement to those who do struggle with their speech. (National Stuttering Awareness Week (NSAW).

As you may or may not know, there are many famous individuals who do or have stuttered, such Marilyn Monroe(actress, singer); Ed Sheeran(singer); King George VI(politician); and Joe Biden(politician). It just goes to you, you’re not alone in you struggle. It is possible to live with and overcome disfluency. I have to keep believing that myself.
In honor of National Stuttering Awareness Week, I decided to make a short video of myself giving advice to stutterers and non-stutterers. I’ll be honest with you, I hate seeing myself talk on video. It took me several takes of recording before I was satisfied with something to share. Call me a perfectionist. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. To view this video, click here . Also, my apologies for the video be sideways.

​​Written below, is my advice which I shared with you all in September 2016. Fittingly it was my first blog post. To view the original post, click here .

1. Do not interrupt. At times when I’m speaking, especially within groups, I feel like an ant trying to be heard in a room full of grasshoppers. We stutterers want to say something too. Just give us a chance. My mother, bless her heart, has an unintentional habit of cutting across my words thinking that I’m finished. I have to inform her that I’m not quite done.

2. Do not guess. Unless you can read minds or are good at reading lips I would not recommend guessing. Not only could you be wrong, but you’re being rude. Unless the other person gives you an indication to finish the sentence, try to refrain from doing so.

3. Let a stutterer do what makes them feel comfortable. My methods for getting through a stutter are easy onset, taking a breath, tapping, and talking in my natural vocal range(baritone). My least favorite and last resort is singing what I want to say. To a good many, I am considered a decent singer. Personally, I’ve heard better voices than mine. Singing has and shall forever be one of my passions. As I use my God-given gift people are intrigued that I don’t stutter as I sing. However, I do not want to sing everything I want to say. I love musicals, but life is not like Grease; Wicked; Hairspray; or Phantom of the Opera. Unless you are going to sing with me to make me feel less silly, I suggest you stop asking me to make your life a musical. If I sang everything it would become a chore rather than a pleasure. Who wants to do chores all day?

4. Do not force. I have a friend who I recently took to a drive thru at a fast food place. If I ever go to a fast food place I usually order inside and type my order on my phone just in case I struggle. I was already upset with this friend for backseat driving, asking me to go outside my comfort zone was nearly pushing it. Interesting friend. Those few minutes of trying to get out my words to the person on the other line were the worse. Five minutes after my friend finally did the speaking herself, she explained she was just trying to help. Unless you are a parent speaking to your child or are somebody’s boss, you have no right to tell somebody what they will or will not do. If a stutterer feels forced into a speaking situation disfluency will surely happen.

5. Be patient. Refrain from saying phrases like “Spit it out” or “Hurry up”. Not everyone can talk as fast as auctioneers or rappers. Some, but not all stutterers tend to take their time when they speak to reduce their stutter. The benefit of being around someone who talks at a steady pace is that you can catch everything they are saying.

6. Treat them right. Just because someone isn’t quite as good at something as you are does not give you the right to belittle them or make them feel inferior. One of the worse things you can do to anyone is to take advantage of them, especially when that person is nothing but genuine to you. As a person who stutters, and a person in general, I hope to be treated well by those who I treat well.

I hope you all took something from this. To non-stutterers, I encourage you not to be afraid to speak to people such as me. To my fellow stutterers, I encourage you not to be afraid to speak to others. Every voice matters. You matter! 

Thank you for reading, and God Bless. 😊😊😊


Sources:

“National Stuttering Awareness Week (NSAW).” Welcome to National Stuttering Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 May 2017.

Serene Saturday #2

Happy Saturday, friends. My current location is Rotary Park, by the Cumberland River. I thought I’d come out and watch the sun go down. It sure beats laying in bed waiting for the Sabbath to end. It’s time once again to reflect on my week.

Sunday.
I’m still digging this financial class. One of the lessons I learned this week is that we should have cash on us. I’ll be honest, I don’t like to carry too much cash on me, because I’m afraid I’ll waste it or give it away to somebody who claims they need it , not that there is anything wrong with that. Having cash on you actually gives you the chance to feel your money instead of just swiping a card and seeing the numbers change on your account. As soon as I got home, I started deciding what I would pay cash for this month. 

Tuesday

After work I worked on my cash flow plan(aka budget). Basically, I decided where all my money was going to go. The top three where most of my money goes are student loans; phone bills, and gas for transportation. I guess there is a benefit is still living at home. Speaking of homes, I’ve been looking into apartments. Lots of nice places out there. It’s just finding something that I can afford while still being able to pay for everything else I got going on. I would like to have a place to myself, rather than have roommates, because I’m a man who values his privacy, and I don’t want to have to deal with any obnoxious people. 

Wednesday 

I went to the dentist. I had to set up another pointment after I missed my last one. I could’ve sworn I wrote down the date somewhere. For a split second I was going to have a fit, because there was a bit of confusion with the insurance I had. But then things were quickly resolved. Afterwards, I went to sit by the river to relax and read some of The Time Keeper, When I knock out this book, I will have a review up. It’s a really interesting book about time and how it can be man’s worst enemy. We’ll talk more about it soon! Can’t wait!

Thursday 

I went with my father to Blanchfield Hospital early in the morning to get his eyes looked at. I accompanied him just in case he needed to be driven home after the doctors worked on his eyes. I was hardly bored in the waiting room as I breezed through my chapters of The Time Keeper. I’m nowhere near finished, but something tells me a good review is in store for this book. 

Saturday
This morning I took in that I have been working at my current job for nearly a year. I started my job at Tennova Healthcare on May 30, 2016, and it is now May 7. Do I regret my employment with them- not all at. Being in that hospital has taught me how often life begins, how short life is, how vital every department is to a hospital, and how patient and endearing I am as a worker and human being. Always take something from your occupation. 

I got my dad to take a selfie with me, which is rare. Enjoy it. Yep, this is the guy where half of my good looks come from. 


As you can guess I’m a a selfie taking addict. You are welcome to follow me on Instagram. Follow me @handomeharris_7gov . Modest ain’t I? 😄😄😄

At the moment, I’m surrounded by high schoolers taking prom pictures. These kids clean up well, looking all dapper and beatiful. Some of these outfits I think I vaguely remember seeing on some of my high school peers at my prom six years ago. Six years ago! Time truly does slip by. Six years ago I was a scrawny 19 year old kid, with glasses, a little acne and a goatee. Now I’m rocking a full beard; sporting Clark Kent glasses, and….I’m still skinny. My dad says it’s going to take a woman to put meat on my bones. Where will I find such a woman!?

This week went pretty well for the most part. The only thing that could be improved is how often I go to the gym. I am sorry to say that I only stopped by Planet Fitness one time. Anyone else struggle going to the gym? 

How was your week? I wanna know. Comment below! 

Enjoy your weekend. God bless. 

Prayer Warriors Unite

Happy National Day of Prayer, friends! I should actually call some of you family since some of you read my stuff often. I’m winging this one up right now, because I literally just found out that today was a day for prayer How ironic, since I claim to be a Christian Right? 😄 Honestly, every day is a day of prayer for me. What can I talk about in regards to prayer on such short notice?

Prayer for me is like having quality time with a friend. That friend is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There are some things I don’t share with everyone. Why, because people tend to judge and look at you differently if you share information about yourself with them. But God, He’s all knowing. And reading all those stories about Christ associating with people like tax collectors and prostitutes shows that he could care less about how messed up you may be.  He talk to you in spite of it. Come as you are, he says.

One man who did a lot of praying was the prophet Daniel. According to scripture, he prayed 3 times a day. I try to follow Daniel’s example and pray as much as I can. One of my constant prayers is for protection on the road, even if I’m just going around the corner to check up on my grandmother. I trust my driving skills; I just don’t trust other drivers.  Too often there is an accident all because someobody was not paying attention; texting; speeding; or trying to outrun the cops. Before my car goes in motion, or somewhere on the road(eyes open and hands on the wheel), I speak the words “Lord, please protect and watch over me.” I haven’t had an accident yet, and I pray it stays that way. Even if it does finally happen, and I do survive, I won’t stop asking Him to take the wheel. If God can deliever me on the road, surely He can deliever you from whatever roads of tribulation you’re facing in life. 

Another one of my constant prayers is that God touches my speaking everyday. Even though I stutter, He made my mouth and every mouth in the world. I pray He touches my lips so I can voice myself and so others can understand anything. I also pray he touches the ears of others because people tend not to hear everything one says.

Hope this wasn’t too brief and that you took something from it. If you normally don’t talk to God, there is no better time than today to get started. I assure you, He is real. He is loving. And He is listening. Be a prayer warrior! 

God Bless.

Precious In Your Sight

(“The views expressed on this blog post are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.”)

Mothers and fathers, celebrate your toddlers, newborns, and baby bumps, because today is Baby Day!

While the orgin and originator of this day is unknown, it is celebrated on May 2, and it is the golden opportunity to be thankful for your child; to celebrate them(Baby Day, May 2, at Holiday Insights). While I’m not a father, I can only imagine the reactions of a parent when they see their child for the first time on the delivery day. When I do become a parent, I’m hoping my reaction is somewhere along the lines of, “You are the most precious thing I have ever seen. I’m glad to finally have you in my world, in my arms. Lord, please give me strength and wisdom to raise my child. Thank for giving them to me.”

To those who are unable to have children, I besiege you, don’t give up hope. If you’re a believer, take what I’m about to say as fact, if you’re not, take it as inspiration. In the Bible, Sarah, the wife of Abraham was barren for many years, unable to have life beyond her own. One day, God told Abraham that his wife would finally have a son Sarah, overhearing the news, laughed because both she and Abraham were elderly. She was well past the years of childbearing(Genesis 18:1-12 NKJV).

“And the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old’ “Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to  you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son””(Genesis 18:3,14 NKJV).

In Genesis 21: 1-3, God keeps His promise and blessed Sarah with a son in her old age, and Abraham called his name Isaac, which translates to “make laughter.”

“And Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me”(Genesis 20:6 NKJV)

This is an excellent example of how everything is easy for God. I encourage you, if you’re ever facing the impossible, look to your Heavely Father, because through Him, anything is possible.

One of the benefits of working in a hospital is the concept of life. At my job, we have this adorable lullaby that plays everytime a baby is born. Between my eight hour shift, that lullaby can go off at least 8 times, and that’s just during my shift. I never get sick of it. According to the United Nation’s Children’s Fund(UNICEF), an average of 350,000 babies are born each day(“How Many Babies Are Born Each Day?”)

In the Bible, the growing number of people frightened a certain individual. That individual was the pharaoh in Exodus chapter 1. At that time, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, and they were multiplying. This troubled pharaoh because he feared the rising numbers would mean one day the slaves would rise against him. He thought it best to have all the male Hebrew babies be cast into the river(Exodus 1:7-22). I had to pause writing for a few seconds to just take in that any human being could so something so cruel. I can only imagine the great cry of not only all those precious lives lost, but of all the parents who had their children snatched away from them. Lord only knows what good lives those lost babies could have lived. All those parents could do was speculate what life might have been like. My heart goes out to anyone who has ever lost a baby.

There was one brave mother who couldn’t part ways with her child. Upon seeing how beautiful her baby was, she hid him. But after three months she could no longer keep him a secret. So she made perhaps one of the toughest decisions any parent can make- sending her child way. She placed her baby in a basket and placed it in a the riverbank(Exodus 2:1-3) Parents, could you do it? Could you let your child go, even if it meant saving them, yet possibly not ever seeing them again?


Luckily, for the child, he was found by pharaoh’s daughter and was not destroyed, because she felt compassion for him(Exodus 2:5,6). That child was Moses, who is known to many as the Great Deliver and Lawgiver. Moses would go on to do great things throughout his life- deliver the people of Israel out of Egypt; receive the Ten Commandments from God, and lead the people of Israel for 40 years. Politicians of the world think they have a hard time leading; Moses had to deal with a stubborn people for four decades! Parents, you may not know it, but your little bundle of joy may be destined to do wonderful things. Not just wonderful things like inventing something; solving incurable diseases, or writing dozens of songs, but doing God’s wonders.

Parents, celebrate your child. Raise them the best way that you know possible. Protect them as you would your spouse and yourself. Let them know early on that they are precious, because as the ol’ song about Jesus goes, “they are precious in his sight.” Happy Baby Day.

  Sources:

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1486281658423-659f557d8756?ixlib=rb-0.3.5&q=100&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=tinysrgb&dl=sean-roy-202825.jpg&s=c86749234d13ca4a988392af1edfd5b1

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1489791505242-b6b0603a0f31?ixlib=rb-0.3.5&q=100&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=tinysrgb&dl=chi-n-ph-m-223833.jpg&s=7b46272ea1db6d34fe50bcbb6af04fa0

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1487606615941-f14f7832bd18?ixlib=rb-0.3.5&q=100&fm=jpg&crop=entropy&cs=tinysrgb&dl=noah-hinton-211203.jpg&s=4d5796a5ee1c53290f05eb0bd205de05

Baby Day, May 2, at Holiday Insights. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2017.

“How Many Babies Are Born Each Day?” The World Counts. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2017.

The holy bible: New King James version. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1982. Print.